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Extracting Exoplanet Topography from Transit Data

7 Mar 2018, 17:05 UTC
Extracting Exoplanet Topography from Transit Data ESO/M. Kornmesser/N. Risinger (skysurvey.org).

How do we go from seeing an exoplanet as a dip on a light curve or even a single pixel on an image to a richly textured world, with oceans, continents and, perhaps, life? We’ve got a long way to go in this effort, but we’re already having success at studying exoplanet atmospheres, with the real prospect of delving into planets as small as the Earth around nearby red dwarfs in the near future. Atmospheric detection and analysis can help us in the search for biosignatures.

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